Exposé Online banner

Asgard — Arkana
(Music Is Intelligence WMMS-018, 1992, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1993-10-01

Arkana Cover artArkana is the latest offering from the Italian neo-progressive band Asgard. Their sound is full of power and grandeur, very symphonic, with affected vocals, shifting moods and almost schizophrenic dynamic changes. Overall, their material is full of feeling and emotion, ofttimes ethereal, yet very directed and always dark (although I haven't really sat down and given the lyrics close scrutiny). Lyrics are in English. The vocalist is nothing short of exceptional, and the rest of the band supports him well, rather than burying him. The extended instrumental passages show a band capable of producing raw power, melodic cohesion, and subtle restraint when needed. Comparisons? Sometimes I hear echoes of some great 70s Italian bands like PFM, Raccomandata RR, Island, and others, yet the vocalist reminds a little of Aragon, Galadriel or Mugen, sort of gothic, but to be fair, these guys are pretty unique. Anyway, for those who may be familiar with Asgard's two previous releases (Gotterdamerung from 1991 and Esoteric Poem from 1992), this newest release shows the band expanding out into some new musical territory, breaking new ground at every twist and turn in the album's 74 minutes. I believe this to be their best yet, by far.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 1, 1992 releases

Related artist(s): Asgard

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kinzokuebisu - Hako-Otoko (Box-Man) – Back in the late 80s bands like Kinzokueisu were everywhere in Japan, playing a heavy symphonic prog with stylistic nods to a few great british bands of the 70s, accented by 80s stadium rock stylings....  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues